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Asian Development Bank

100 Climate Actions from Cities in Asia and the Pacific


The new 26.6 km Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Red Line corridor being constructed in Karachi is expected to reduce emissions and improve public health in one of the world’s most densely populated cities.

The Red Line BRT system, expected to be completed in 2023, will improve the mixed-traffic roadway through the inclusion of additional lanes, parking facilities, landscaped green areas, bicycle lanes, improved sidewalks, and energy-efficient street lights. The BRT fleet will also be upgraded with Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) hybrid buses.


The new BRT line will also be complemented by plans to introduce a waste-to-fuel scheme that will produce biomethane from cattle waste as fuel for the BRT buses. Over 6,000 tons of cattle waste are produced daily in Karachi’s Cattle Colony and then discarded into Karachi Bay.

The new Red Line BRT project will provide city dwellers with alternative modes of transportation which the city has historically lacked. It is estimated that approximately 40% of all trips are still being made on foot.

The project was funded through a $235 million loan from ADB as well as with contributions from the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, Agence Française de Développement, and the Green Climate Fund.

The city estimates that in the first year of BRT operations, demand is expected to reach 320,000 passengers per day (photo by ADB)

The Challenge

Karachi is one of the largest cities in the world without a formal public transport and mass transit system, the city must address this with a sustainable public transport network.


Health The transformation will improve quality of life, reduce emissions and improve air quality benefiting 1.5 million people, 10% of Karachi’s population.

Social The city believes that the poor, women, children, elderly, and people with disabilities would benefit most from the system due to its safety features and accessibility.